It has been reported by the Trade Union Congress, the National Trade Union Centre in the UK, that one in five people experience some form of abuse or attack whilst working every year. Such incidents have resulted in the loss of more than 3 million working days per year in the UK.
Attacks on Employees Damage Business
Any employee working unsocial hours, handling money, dealing with distressed or angry customers, or those working alone, face an increased risk of a potential attack. In fact, it has been reported by the Health and Safety Executive that 1.3 million attacks on lone workers occur in the UK every year.
Such attacks often have a negative effect on employees, which in turn has an effect on the standard of their work and in some cases a violent experience can leave an employee physically and mentally traumatised and unable to return to work, thus causing serious issues for employers.
An attack in the workplace may also produce a knock on effect with other employees, putting them in fear of further attacks and affecting staff morale, which in the long term could mean poor productivity and a reduction in work quality.
As per the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure work environment for their employees to work in. This responsibility also extends to ensuring that work premises are assessed and preventative measures are put in place to reduce potential violent attacks.
Securing the workplace
By installing the correct and appropriate safety equipment, employers can significantly reduce the risk of and protect against abuse and attacks from the public.
Physical attack resistant and bullet proof security windows, protection screens, cash counters and transaction windows are normally manufactured to bespoke requirements and should be compliant with the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) to ensure accessibility for employees and visitors alike.
John Milner of physical security installation specialists KS Security says, “Those businesses that handle cash or secure documents or those which are at particular risk from violent or abusive visitors, should invest in quality physical security systems that meet British Standards specifications. Quality, custom made installations will ensure the utmost safety for everyone concerned and will promote a more contented workforce.”